I began my professional career in Chicago as a health care justice advocate with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. The start of this position coincided with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. To meet the need for information, I developed training materials about the health care provisions, Medicaid expansion, Medicaid federal and state policies, and the insurance marketplaces. My objective was to ensure that advocates, community leaders, social workers, and service providers understood the new health laws. By empowering these specific stakeholders with information, the most vulnerable populations who were largely impacted by the new health reforms received access to needed health services. My position as a health care justice advocate informed my work as a policy analyst intern with Texas Health Institute in Austin in the summer of 2018. In this position, I wrote several policy briefs regarding oral health service gaps in Texas in response to a legislative call for information about adult dental care.
Weaving my school work and industry work, I choose to study abroad and conduct field research in Denmark, Ethiopia, and Australia. In Denmark, I studied the northern European health care systems and carried out a research project on how to improve the quality of life of seniors. In Ethiopia, I co-taught English and Biology to middle school students for the first half of my internship. I, then, joined a theater group that focused on health promotion through theater, circus arts, and comedy. The objective of the show was to teach people about the dangers of genital mutilation, encourage safe sex, and promote gender equality. In Australia, I worked with an organization that provides social services to women and families who have been displaced and have experienced recent traumas. My final project in this position was a community needs assessment proposal on how to improve access to resources for growing multicultural immigrant communities in the city of Canberra. Because of these international experiences, I am extremely comfortable in my ability to jump into diverse spaces with confidence and perform important work efficiently while applying a unique perspective.
My work and academic experiences reveal my leadership skills, ability to manage projects, and passion for interdisciplinary study methods. I am starting my Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology to expand my skills to better study the intersection of health disparities and environmental justice work that centers cultural practices that inform medical decisions.